That, of course, is retired Army General John Batiste, profiled here by the Grey Lady. Batiste, commander of over 22,000 soldiers in the First Infantry Division in Iraq, left the Army after that experience, and has been quite critical of the Bush Administration's handling of the war. After previously joining the (thereby safer) near unanimous chorus of calls for the ouster of former SecDef Rumsfeld (a chorus so loud that eventually, even George W. Bush heard it), the former General is now playing with fire, by appearing in an ad by VoteVets.Org that is (heavens) actually critical of Our SaviorTM, George W. Bush, and his conduct of The Great CrusadeTM, i.e., the Iraq war.
General Batiste is given some degree of prominence in Thomas Ricks' Fiasco, which I am (still) currently reading. In short, the professional military knew how to achieve goals... assuming that it had the right strategy, and the appropriate support to achieve that strategy. Strategy-- the big picture-- not the more quotidian matter of tactics.
The military, led by its short-sighted (and domestic political points obsessed) idiot civilian overlords, had neither strategy, nor willingness to provide resources to achieve it. There was no concern whatsoever given to what would happen after Iraq was invaded (Rumsfeld famously threatened to fire anyone who even talked about planning for the occupation). Key resources, whether enough personnel, or appropriate armor or equipment, were either removed or not available at key times, while at others, the politicos intervened to do exactly the wrong thing (see "Fallujah, Battles of").
Indeed, even I am less convinced than I was at one time about there being a grand conspiracy. Surely, felt I, the Bushmen couldn't possibly be so stupid and incompetent as to have brought about the results in Iraq unless it was intentional. Now, I am reasonaby convinced that they really actually were, and are, that stupid and incompetent, after all.
For calling the Bushmen on this fundamental lack of professionalism, General Batiste has not been criticized by active or retired members of the military (he has been receiving anonymous "traitor" e-mails from those who serve with the 101st Fighting Keyboarders but dare not actually put their own asses on the line)... and of late, he has been duly rewarded by having the feckless CBS network fire him as a military analyst.
Welcome to George W. Bush's America, where anything goes. Except integrity, competence, or criticizing the boss.
Not to worry... if rumsfeld was going to fire people for talking about the planning everyone should have felt safe.. it is clear their was no planning to discuss.
Posted by candace at May 13, 2007 10:38 AM
Oh Candance, yes indeed there was a plan. It was called "Operation Chaos."
Posted by Hassan Bar Sinister at May 14, 2007 11:34 AM